You see, one year ago today, I went to work at The Suffix in a very unsuspecting manner. I was happy-go-lucky trying to get systems to be all happy and cooperative and stuff like that. It was great.
Then 2:00 came and everything changed.
On my calendar was a 1-on-1 meeting with my manager. It was initially scheduled for Tuesday, but got shifted to Thursday. Not usually a big deal. The meeting was also changed from a conference room on our floor to a conference room in the basement. That was weird, but I figured nothing was available upstairs.
At 2:30, I headed downstairs and entered the Red Oak Conference Room and saw two people -- my manager, and our HR representative. "This can NOT be good, I thought."
I was informed that due to the current economic crisis, my position was being eliminated. My manager left the room and I was sitting with HR.
She explained what was going to go on. As of Halloween, I would be severed. They asked if I'd continue to work until the end of the month, but work more on focusing to find a new position. Anything I had to do for this came first, and The Suffix work came second. We went through the standard paperwork and the first thing I noticed was my age on one of the forms would be wrong as of the layoff date. She inquired and I said "Next week's my birthday. Happy birthday, I'm getting laid off!"
I kept as much composure as I could and went back upstairs. I happened across Princess Sparklepants and she was like "Do you need to go for a walk?" I responded "YES!"
We went outside for a few minutes and she was apologizing left and right. She said she knew and it was killing her that she couldn't tell me. I told her I was glad she didn't because I didn't want her to risk her job. And, to this day, I think she's awesome in the fact she didn't let anything on. I know much it hurt her to be on the inside with bad news about the people she cares about.
I went back upstairs and packed up for the day. I walked outside and called my chiropractor and asked if I could see her early. She asked if everything was ok, and I said no. She asked what was wrong and I said I couldn't say at the moment. Of course, her next response was "I'll be at the office in ten minutes." (I love her for that!)
I met her at her office and she asked what was wrong. I let out the water works and started bawling on her shoulder (which isn't difficult when I'm 6'1" and she's 5'3 3/4"). She keeps trying to figure out what's going on and I finally muster out "I'm being laid off."
We talk for a bit and she kinda cheers me up, but not really. I went home called a few people to give them the bad news, went to my favoritest chinese restaurant with a friend, posted this, then went to bed all depressed.
I mean, what was going to happen to me? To Bradley? To my house? I was beyond lost.
Friday, I got up and moped around. I started working on my resume (too bad I didn't think of a video resume....), and was getting more and more depressed. Then, out of the blue, I had a great idea! I was going to throw a party to celebrate the fact I was getting laid off! Thus birthed the "I'm over it" phase of it all.
I started basic planning of that, and tried to see what else I could do.
The following Monday, I showed up at work (mainly to provide the face time -- not really wanting to focus on The Suffix work), and played around with my resume. I stopped by friends desks and informed them of the news if they hadn't heard yet. The composure came and went, but nothing came bigger than eyes swelling up with tears.
That Wednesday was the 15th, and my standard work from home day. So, I got all settled in and was playing with my resume.
About 12:45, I logged onto computerjobs.com and searched for my specialty. The first posting I saw I was like "I can do this!" and sent in my incomplete resume. I've sent in thousands of resumes in the past to these recruiters only to have them ignored, so what's one more incomplete resume?
At 1:00, I had to hop on a conference call (That I didn't want to be on), and call waiting kicked in. I answered it and it was the recruiter. He asked if I had time to talk and I told him I was on a conference call, but can hang up with them to talk. We had a conversation about how much he liked my skills and wanted to present my resume to the client. I said "Ok" and he informed me the client was The Company.
I was like "you're kidding, right?"
"No -- why?"
"I've wanted to work for The Company for YEARS! In fact, I've joked with The Suffix that the only way I'd willingly leave them was for The Company!"
He said he'd give me a call back and work on when I can interview.
Hope began to spark. I told a few people I had an interview coming up.
The following Monday I had the interview. And I thought it went BAD. HORRIBLY! So wrong that I didn't even call the recruiter back after it. Tuesday, the recruiter calls me and asks how it went. I informed him "Horrible -- worst interview of my life."
The next words out of his mouth were quite odd to hear: "Weird. They said they like you and want you to come back for another interview."
"Dude, this is no time to play with my emotions."
"No, seriously. They like you."
I'm flabberghasted, and get a second interview set up for the following Monday. This time, it was a lunch interview (Gee... not only is there pressure to be personable, but I have to EAT in a monkey suit as well?).
The following Monday I had said interview, and we went out to lunch and the theme was Italian. "Great... I'm going to be in the monkey suit AND have to deal with Italian food? PLEASE DON'T LET ME DROP FOOD.. PLEASE DON'T LET ME DROP FOOD!"
The lunch interview went great. So great that I forgot I was wearing the monkey suit. After lunch, we headed over to HR with that portion of the interview. Hiring manager said there was a second contendor for the position and her second interview was the next day and Wednesday or Thursday I should hear. Of course, mentally I'm like "Are they going to hire the homosexual or the female?"
The logistics are talked out with HR, and I head home and get out of the monkey suit. I talk with recruiter dude and he heard good things, so it's the waiting game.
Wednesday came and went.
Thursday came and before it went, I emailed the recruiter asking if he heard anything. Bad news -- there was some sudden budget deadline that appeared and they wouldn't make a decision 'til Friday or Monday.
I think to myself, "How hard is it to say 'Hire Smply'?"
I'm talking with a coworker at The Suffix and he tells me my name's being said a lot in HR. I try to figure out how he knows that until I realize his wife works for HR in The Company. He didn't know much but my name being said, so I thought that was positive thoughts (or he was just lying to me to keep me in a positive mood).
Friday was not only Halloween, but my last day at The Suffix. I wrote my tearful goodbye email and had my exit interview (that ran long), and left. I got home and had absolutely nothing to do. Until I was invited out Trick or Treating by Beanie.
Somehow during Trick or Treating, I managed to collect a bag and actually start getting candy (which wasn't really impressive 'cuz it was stuff I wouldn't eat -- so much for collecting food for unemployment).
Saturday was the "Smply got laid.....off!" party. As my Furby would call it, "Big fun!" I even got a "RIP" tombstone from Party City and put The Suffix's logo under it. It was great!
Sunday I went to take down the black balloons from my mailbox and the dog groomer was at gaybor's house and said "Someone had a big birthday..." -- I replied "nope, I had a 'I got laid off' party" -- her look was priceless!
Monday, I woke up and went downstairs and started working on my resume. Bradley was very confused as to why I wasn't at work. About noon, I finally decided to hop in the shower. When I got out, I emailed the recruiter asking if he had heard anything. Fifteen minutes later, my phone rang and it was him.
He started all the smalltalk that I HATE! Asking how my weekend was and all that jazz. "GET TO THE POINT!" I wanted to demand, but I was being nice.
He finally got around to the meat of the conversation: "So, do you still want to work for The Company?"
"Well, I've got good news and bad news. The good news is they really like you and would like to extend you an offer."
"And the bad news is they don't want to pay you what you asked.
Of course, it wasn't extensively more, but I was happy with the number they came up with (Heck, I was happy with the number I came up with). We talked through logistics and I told him I would prefer to take two weeks off before so I could scare my fambly.
In any event, it was a sad sad day a year ago today. But everything turned out for the better. It's great to have friends and fambly (and friends who are basically fambly) out there to reach out for support!